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Cut Out the Middle-Marketer: Own Your Campaign

Aug 17, 2007
My true love is music, but the fact is I have to make real money too. There's nothing better than getting together with old friends (older and older, as it turns out) and jamming in front of a crowd. There's an energy you just don't get anywhere else, and it is definitely keeping us young.

Still, music doesn't pay the electric bill, and I'm pretty sure my wife would leave me if I went on the road full time. She's very supportive, but a guy can only go so far before he hits the end of the leash, you dig? So she puts up with my creaky old rocker ways, but she really loves that I've been able to build a business from home that keeps us warm, fed and comfortable. I've even managed to put away a little bit for our retirement!

What I sell online isn't all that important. I have a website offering a variety of products, and I have affiliate partners that share links with me in mutually beneficial relationships. The most important change I ever made for my business, and the one that allowed me to work from home full-time, was marketing.

I had always cringed when I heard the word "marketing" in the past. Isn't that the purview of big, evil PR firms designed to brainwash your kids into screaming "I'm koo-koo for Cocoa Puffs" at full volume in the grocery store? But reading a little more about it and talking to other people in my line of work, I found out that you can be your own marketing department. There is absolutely no need to hire outside your business to start a marketing campaign.

The way I built my business was by writing articles. Once I discovered how easy it is with an online service to be distributed to hundreds -- even thousands -- of content sites, email lists and newsletters around the world, I suddenly became a prolific producer! I wrote constantly for weeks about vitamins I was selling, a new bicycle I bought and all the features it had, even about my band's latest gig! Admittedly, I got a little overzealous. It doesn't take that much effort to run a successful article marketing campaign.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when writing your articles:

-- Be informative. Tell people something they didn't know before.

-- Content is king. The Internet is based on fresh, new content that changes every day. Put yourself into the mix, or your competitor will beat you to it.

-- Leave out keyword-stuffing and Black Hat SEO. Search engines are too smart for that nowadays and your article will be passed over every time.

-- Have fun! Write about what you know and love and it will quickly cease being a chore and become one of your favorite parts of your week!

The secret is, in every article you write, there's a little About the Author box that goes at the end. In this box, you can tell a little bit about yourself, like the name and location of your business. It could even say "I'm So-and-So, mother of three in Kalamazoo, Mi." It doesn't matter. What does matter is that this is where your link goes.

Once your link is published in all those About the Author boxes on all those different websites, search engines will start to see you. That means your PageRank will improve and you will begin to move up in search engine results. I've seen my results go nowhere but up since I started my campaign. When are you going to create your marketing department?
About the Author
Johnny Albertson is a musician and writer, and a big fan of Article Marketer, an online article distribution service. For more smart ways to speak to your market, visit Beatin' the Blues and Back to Basics.
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